The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

toward the indigent women whose children were most likely to become social
welfare burdens.
The four essays in the second section explore the role of gender prescriptions
in shaping political debate and public policy. Elizabeth York Enstam demon-
strates how Dallas clubwomen in the Progressive Era used the language of moth-
erhood and domesticity to great advantage in their pursuit of improved schools,
a juvenile court system, pure food legislation, and a safe municipal water law; ul-
timately they used that language in arguing for suffrage. At the same time, as El-
na Green shows, antisuffragists across the south portrayed suffrage as a threat to
home and family; they mourned the loss of antebellum plantation society which
had clearly defined the "places" of the sexes and races. Complementary essays by
Kathleen Hilton and Lynne Rieff on the Agricultural Extension Service's home
demonstration program for rural women illuminate the ways in which govern-
ment agents sought to reinforce these Old South gender and race prescriptions
in building the New South.
The third section explores the difficulties of interracial cooperation. Glenda
Elizabeth Gilmore focuses on the Women's Christian Temperance Union in
North Carolina, where for a short "melting time" in the late nineteenth century
white and black women attempted-without lasting success-to work together.
Essays by Christina Green on the Southern Student Organizing Committee and
Cynthia Griggs Fleming on Ruby Doris Smith Robinson's leadership in the Stu-
dent Nonviolent Coordinating Committee show women confronting the prob-
lem with more (but not complete) success during the civil rights movement.
Within these organizations, black and white women were equally victims of sex-
ism, which propelled the white college women of the SSOC toward the women's
liberation movement.
With few exceptions, the essays in this collection are well written and insight-
ful, and many have made creative use of local records and oral history. Taken to-
gether, they are an enlightening look at the many ways in which gender,
fractured by race and class, helped shape social change in the south between Re-
construction and the civil rights era.
University of Houston-Victoria JUDITH N. MCARTHUR
Cowgirls of the Rodeo. By Mary Lou Le Compte. (Chicago: University of Illinois
Press, 1993. Pp. xii+252. Acknowledgments, introduction, index, appendix.
ISBN 0-25202-029-4. $22.50.)
This history of cowgirls who earned money as professional athletes will be
sobering to all those inclined to believe that the twentieth century has witnessed
a steady progression toward greater equality for women. During this century,
rodeo cowgirls went from being genuine participants to mere decorative props,
although the situation has improved in recent decades.
From the 1830s through the 1920s, cowgirls could and did compete directly
against men in steer-roping, trick roping, trick riding, and events long since de-
clared too dangerous for woman, man, and beast, such as Roman racing, a gruel-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/. Accessed December 19, 2014.